At the ProSweets trade fair, Schubert presented its latest development in TLM technology: the Flowmodul. “Several current orders, combined with many already installed Flowmoduls, proves that we correctly identified and understood our customers’ needs with our flow-wrapping component,” says Ralf Schubert, Managing Director of Gerhard Schubert GmbH. “At the fair, the trade visitors’ interest in this innovation was extremely high.” The flow-wrapping component, which is fully integrated into the TLM picker line, has successfully established itself in the market since its launch in 2016. It packs many different types of products such as candy bars, biscuits, cakes, 3D chocolate figures, yoghurt cups, ice cream, puff pastry and confectionary waffles.
The combination of F4 pick-and-place robots, 3D image recognition and one or two flow-wrapping components within a TLM system are what make this system so successful. It saves space and, thanks to short changeover times, enables the efficient handling of small batch sizes and a large variety of products. 3D image recognition ensures that the robots only pick up flawless products and place them in the flow-wrapping component’s feed chain. 3D means that not only the rotational position, shape and surface of the products to be packaged are detected, but also their height, which for many products, including sandwich biscuits – as demonstrated at ProSweets – is an important quality criterion. An infeed chain speed of 60 metres per minute, fully automatic flight carrier changing with exchangeable cassettes for further formats, and format changeovers within one to ten minutes ensure exceptional system performance and low downtimes.
With the latest Flowmodul model, Schubert has further simplified accessibility for maintenance and cleaning work, and made the suspension of the film rolls more ergonomic. This makes the Flowmodul even more user-friendly and more efficient for technicians and machine operators. Schubert is currently working on a new sealing technology which will also enable the use of heat-sealing film in the future, even for sensitive products such as chocolate.
Schubert is responding to increasing digitalisation by expanding its comprehensive service offering and establishing its own digital platform – GRIPS.world – which the company also presented at the trade fair. GRIPS.world is Schubert’s web-based platform, which will in the future network the company with its customers and suppliers as well as with the TLM machines, while mapping all important internal business processes for the employees – combined under a single user interface. In the future, Schubert will use the GS.Gate gateway for the retrieval, analysis and secure forwarding of machine data. This industrial gateway was developed by Schubert subsidiary Schubert System Elektronik together with genua, the German IT security specialist. The GS.Gate can be connected to machines independently of manufacturer and meets the highest IT security requirements.